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At Pickhurst Infant School, we recognise that regular and punctual attendance is absolutely vital if children are to make sustained progress.  Using the school's computerised attendance system, children's attendance is carefully monitored by the Principal, Head of School, class teachers, administrative staff and the Educational Welfare Officer.



              1.          To create a warm, welcoming, secure atmosphere where children feel valued. 

2.          To provide a stimulating and accessible curriculum.                                      

3.          To provide a bright, clean and attractive environment. 

4.          To encourage children to attend every day and arrive punctually.

5.          To develop a positive attitude to the importance of punctuality and regular attendance.


Parents/Carers Responsibilities

Parents and carers are required to ensure that children of compulsory school age receive full-time education. This means that they are responsible for ensuring that children attend and stay at school. They are also responsible for informing the school of any absence on the first day of absence.  They should state the nature of the illness and when the child is expected to return to school.  Parents/Carers are also responsible for ensuring that their children are ready to start school at 8.55 a.m.


Absence – what to do if your child is absent for any reason

Parents are requested to phone the school on the first day of absence.  Please telephone between 8.00 a.m. and 9.00 a.m. when you can leave a message on the answer phone.  Absences can also be reported via email to


To leave a message call 020 8462 3196 Option 1 to leave an absence message.  State your child’s name, class and short reason for absence.  We need to know why your child is not in school on the first day of absence in order to ensure that they are safe and to authorise the absence.


If the school has had no explanation for the absence, we will telephone on the first day of absence asking the parent/carer to provide a reason.  If no reason is given for the absence it will be marked as unauthorised.  Parents/Carers must also write a short note or email to explain the reason for their child’s absence otherwise it will not be authorised.  Please note, if you have emailed with your child's absence, then it is not necessary to send an additional note.


If your child is absent for 5 or more days, you will need to provide medical evidence relating to their absence.  This can be in the form of a copy of the appointment, doctor’s certificate or proof of medication.


How do we monitor absence?

We will always follow up any unexplained absences in order to establish the reason. If there is no explanation, the absence will be marked as unauthorised.  All unauthorised absences are recorded on your child’s annual report.  The Principal/Head of School and Education Welfare Officer carry out half-termly checks on attendance and investigate when a child’s attendance falls below 92% and/or there are patterns of absence and lateness.  Where there is cause for concern, the Principal/Head of School or Education Welfare Officer will contact parents to discuss the matter further and try to find ways to resolve the problem.


Lateness – What to do if your child is late for school

You child needs to be at school by 8.55 a.m. when the bell rings for the start of the school day.  The teachers then mark the register and send it back to the School Office by 9.05 a.m.  If your child arrives after the register has been taken, you will need to take them to the School Office and sign them in using the electronic system in the foyer, stating their reason for lateness.  Your child will then be marked late in the register by the office staff.  If your child arrives after 9.30 a.m., they will be marked absent by the office staff for that session.


How we monitor lateness

Lateness is monitored by the Principal/Head of School and Education Welfare Officer.  If your child is late more than five times in any half term period you will be contacted by the Education Welfare Officer to arrange a meeting in order to find ways to resolve the problem.


What we do when we are concerned about a child’s absence or lateness

  1. An initial letter of concern is sent to parents/carers inviting them to discuss the problem with the Educational Welfare Officer and to find ways to improve the attendance or lateness.
  2. If this is unsuccessful, the Educational Welfare Officer will arrange a further meeting with parents/carers to discuss concerns and agree targets for improving their child’s attendance or lateness.The attendance will be closely monitored for a month.
  3. If there is no improvement a third letter will be sent inviting the parents to discuss attendance at a meeting with Headteacher and the Education Welfare Officer. Further targets will be set and monitored for a month.
  4. The Education Welfare Officer will become fully involved in supporting and monitoring the attendance and may consider a Fixed Penalty Notice and a fine if there is no improvement.


  • Illness of child.
  • Medical/dental appointments (which should be arranged at times when least disruptive to children's learning).
  • Performance rights, eg. theatre productions
  • Examinations for dance, music, etc. when they can't be arranged out of school hours.
  • Family bereavement.
  • Religious Festivals.
  • Illness of parent
  • Holidays*
  • Day trips or long weekends
  • Visits to families living abroad
  • Birthday celebration
  • Visits to families working abroad
  • Holidays booked due to difficulties with work shift patterns or rotas
  • Surprise visits or one booked without knowledge


Leave of absence during term time may be granted in the event of a medical emergency only.  In this eventuality details of flights or travel arrangements and when they were booked may be required before authorised absence is granted.  This does not include a planned trip to coincide with cheaper flight times during term time for example, to visit a poorly relative.


Should leave be taken without authorisation then consideration will be given to issuing a Fixed Penalty Notice in the sum of £60.00.  If the fine is not paid within 28 days the penalty increases to £120.00.  If is remains unpaid after a further 14 days then court proceedings are commenced.


*        Please ensure that your families know term dates so do not book a surprise holiday in term time.


What do I do if I need to take my child out of school in term time?

If it is unavoidable that you take your child out of school in term time, you will need to complete a Leave of Absence form that is available from the School Office.  This should be completed a month before the date of absence.  The Headteacher then makes a decision based on the information in the table above as to whether the absence is authorised or unauthorised.  Please note that May is a period when end of Key Stage Assessment are carried out for Year 1 and Year 2.  This period and the first two weeks of any term should be avoided for leave of absence.


Please also complete the leave of absence form for any other absences for which you can give advance notice.


Absence for holiday in term time

Holidays in term time are not authorised as they are very disruptive to children’s education.  The children are excited before they go and often find it difficult to concentrate.  They miss large chunks of learning in all areas of the curriculum whilst they are away.  When they return, it is very difficult to catch up.  The teacher has to devote additional time to your child to support them – time which is taken away from the rest of the class.  It is not possible for parents or carers to teach or cover the learning that the child misses whilst they are away.